Working from Home, VPNs, and COVID-19

Working from Home, VPNs, and COVID-19

What You Need to Know

While companies work to create a smooth work from home experience for their employees during COVID-19, some nefarious individuals are capitalizing on newly exposed vulnerabilities.

Infosec.com has reported a 37% increase in hacking and phishing attempts in the last month. Why the increase? Remote employee access opens up new opportunities to hack into sensitive company and customer information.

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Why VPNs Matter

When information travels over an Internet connection, it’s susceptible to attack. Hackers can intercept the information or they can attach malware to it to penetrate your network.

Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, though, create a secure tunnel for data and communication with no opportunity for malware.

This offers your employees a secure way to access important documents and programs needed to complete their jobs regardless of their location.

And even though VPNs are widely considered a secure method to access information, there are a number of concerns.

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What to Look Out for When Using a VPN

Setting up a basic VPN is easy. Ensuring its ongoing efficiency and security, though requires additional attention. By getting help from an Atlanta based IT Managed Services Provider, you can ensure that all web traffic is secure and that documents are easy to access.

An IT Managed Service Provider will help you in a few key areas.

  • Identify vulnerabilities as more malicious cyber actors are turning to vulnerable telework companies during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Update VPNs regularly, as updates and patches are essential to ensuring ongoing security.
  • Minimizes interruptions from connection limitations so all necessary employees can continue working.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a government agency, recently released a report detailing their analysis on VPNs for remote work.

  • Device and software updates are essential to ensure a VPN remains secure.
  • IT personnel need to be prepared to manage a potential cybersecurity attack, including log review, attack detection, and incident response and recovery.
  • Multifactor authentication should be required for all employees to increase security. If that isn’t available, require strong passwords for all employee accounts.
  • Test VPN limitations to prepare for increased usage, and consider implementing rate limiting to prioritize users who need more bandwidth.

How Do I Know if I Need a VPN?

In order to answer this question, it’s important to understand different work from home options. There are two ways to securely connect your employees to your server. If you’re already on a cloud-based server, then a secure connection is already encapsulated within it. If you have an on-site server, then you will need a VPN to ensure secure, safe access.

Implementing a VPN protocol, including strict security and up-to-date processes, can help your company remain effective and safe during this time. Additionally, pairing this with ongoing managed IT services ensures your network continues to be effective and safe based on CISA’s guidelines.

For a customized VPN solution and ongoing 24/7 managed IT services to ensure a secure company network, give us a call at (770) 847-9611.

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